Or THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.
ALERT: A review of hotels and places and tips coming. More comprehensive and less garbled so bear with me folks I’m getting on it!
PERU has been a mixed box of chocolates. Favourites that you lust and dribble over, the hard ones that when you finally get into them are delicious, ones you bite into and spit out and ones you half like but only have once the good ones have gone. Then there’s the soft centres that nobody really likes but eat in desperation at the end of Christmas.
I hated Lima but loved Trujillo. I only loved Cusco at the beginning because it wasn’t Lima. Then I saw the hard core tourism didn’t stop even at the supermarkets targeted again at tourists with a bar of chocolate at an eye-watering £6. There’s no respite and there is no soul at the constant nagging to sell massage, tours and trinkets. However, when you escape, the museums and many sites around are MAGNIFICENT and not to be missed if you’re like me and adore archaeology.
I “did” MACHU PICCHU and all the sites around until I was sick of the bloody Incas and resented their stupidity of not writing anything down. They are a relatively recent culture and should have got there by their time. However it was breath-taking and I was so lucky with the weather so I really got the vibe of how it was to live in this exotic location.
So when I went to Trujillo I was joyous at these more primitive people who at least had a bit of an excuse being some two thousand years earlier and upward.
The Moche and their predecessors were more salty and fishy and stayed by the sea harvesting their shells and creating their unique Huacas. They had the pelican and fish and crab down to an art and portrayed their Peruvian-bald dog fondly. They gave equal status to women (the Lady of Cao) and traded heavily on the much valued Spondylus shell
My Previous Trip in Colombia.
COLOMBIA UP TIL CARTAGENA, was wonderful and beautiful and vibrant….and a little wicked. It was my first experience of South Americans. It pushed me on constantly speaking in Spanish and enjoying it (even though some words are different and my Castilian lisp wasn’t understood I soon rectified that with the hard “S” of the locals.)
(I’m now further on in my trip in Belize so am staring to get a handle on Central America and its very different identity (I was in Guatemala last week too.) and am kind of missing South America now being a contrary person.)
However I digress, my return to Colombia was a mistake as I went to the hideous Cartagena. Already I can hear people saying I’m mad and it’s wonderful, well you must have had your beer goggles on my friends, it’s a hole. Boca Grande the resort, is outdated, dirty and full of all the people on the planet I have nothing in common with.
I went to the awful place because I wanted sun after having had a cool if not cold trip in the mountains for the main part. I wish I could just erase it because I loved the rest of Colombia.
Child Pornography and Child Sex Tourism in Boca Grande.
It would seem that there’s a real problem there if this card in my room was anything to go by. How horrific to think I was in an area where this evidently occurs. I didn’t see a card like this anywhere else in Colombia so is it endemic in Boca Grande and similar Caribbean beach resorts?
The Old Town of Cartagena.
The move to the old town wasn’t much better, more character maybe and more buzzy than bleak BC, but you’re done with it in five minutes especially as the main attraction for me was the Archaeology Museum that was closed for a refurb. (Please get your act together on your sites and on Google folks, people travel a long way to see your treasures)
There were also torrential downpours on the day I left for the old town and the streets were rivers with all sorts of muck so the old town was a welcome site and my new hotel really beautiful petite and boutique….and individual!
You know that you’ve reached the end of the line when you start taking pictures of your bedroom floor tiles (however pretty) and that it’s time to leave!
OVER AND OUT FROM REBECCA AND THE LAST OF SOUTH AMERICA!